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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 18, 2009

Contact:
Seaberry Nachbar
831-647-4204

NOAA Awards Santa Barbara Area Environmental Education Grants

NOAA has awarded six grants totaling more than $400,000 to schools and non-profit groups in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to support local environmental education projects.

The grants, part of NOAA's California Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program, will support standards-based, hands-on education activities that promote greater understanding about the ocean and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Local schools and nonprofit organizations, many serving underrepresented students and communities, received funding. In addition, the projects will provide related professional development to teachers. Several projects received funding up to $60,000.

The six grantees include:

  • Art from Scrap: Students from 20 fourth- through sixth-grade classes will learn about local watersheds and how various human activities actions can impact creeks, estuaries, the ocean and the Channel Islands. Lessons are conducted at school sites, the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach and at creek sites.
  • Oak Grove School: Every public school in the Ventura River watershed will participate in restoration and stewardship activities of historic wetlands located throughout the Santa Barbara area.
  • Ventura County Office of Education: Students will interact with researchers working in and around Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary, and monitor and gather data on the local environment.

"The future of coastal and ocean stewardship lies in the hands of our children," said Chris Mobley, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary superintendent. "By providing rigorous, multi-disciplinary field and classroom experiences, we hope to develop the next generation of scientists, advocates, and leaders that will protect our marine environment."

The NOAA B-WET Program was established in 2002 to improve the understanding of environmental stewardship of students, teachers, and communities through education. Recognizing that an educated community is key to understanding and sustaining the nation's ocean and coastal environments, NOAA has developed B-WET programs across the United States.

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was designated in 1980 to protect marine resources surrounding San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara islands. The sanctuary spans approximately 1,470 square miles, extending from island shorelines to six miles offshore, and encompasses a rich diversity of marine life, habitats and historical and cultural resources.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.

On the Web:

Bay Watershed Education and Training Program
NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

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